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Grant Program

Grant Program


King County Priority Hire Grant Program

Purpose: Building on the success of its Priority Hire program, King County is now providing grant opportunities for all King County cities, towns, school districts, public colleges, or other public entities that have an interest in developing a Priority Hire program. Grant awards are intended to be used as seed money to assist local jurisdictions in the early stages of establishing a local Priority Hire Program. Local jurisdictions that may not be familiar with Priority Hire Programs are encouraged to use King County Priority Hire as a model and utilize priority hiring on a single construction project as a “pilot project.”

Funds available: Starting in early 2023 and continuing through the end of 2024, a total of $3,000,000 in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will be awarded by King County to local jurisdictions. King County is planning to award up to $500,000 per proposal, with the understanding that some grants may exceed this amount depending on specific proposals and the overall number of successful grant applicants. Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to proposals submitted by March 22, 2023. The grant application process will close when all funds have been awarded.

Please note that all awarded funding must be obligated by the end of 2024 and expended by December 31, 2026.

For more detailed information and instructions regarding the Priority Hire Grant Program, visit the Priority Hire Grant Program - RFA Instructions document.

All prospective applicants are welcome to sign up for a short 1-on-1 consultation with staff on their projects via email; first-time applicants are particularly encouraged to sign up. Email to sign up for a consultation.

REMINDER: Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to proposals submitted by March 22, 2023.

To get updates on information sessions and more, sign up for email alerts under “Stay connected” on this page.

King County expects to fund grant proposals that include a clear vision for how the jurisdiction plans to move forward with Priority Hire by:

(i) Moving forward with a local Priority Hire pilot project; or

(ii) Initiating a phased approach with a pilot project followed by a broader implementation at a later date; or

(iii) The immediate start-up of a full program.

Funding may be used for the following elements of a local Priority Hire Program:

1. CWA Administrator (can be staff and/or a consultant resource) 

2. Reporting System (set up and licensing costs) 

3. Legal Analysis (legal expertise to advise on design and start-up of local Priority Hire Program) 

4. Staff Training (training for project managers, management, etc.…) 

5. Data Analysis/Reporting (standard reporting on program results) 

6. Website Development (local jurisdiction site to track progress of project(s)) 

7. Community Outreach (for recruiting priority hire workers from community and pre-apprenticeship programs) 

For additional details regarding the elements above, please refer to Attachment A: Priority Hire Program Elements form. This document includes both required and discretionary elements of Priority Hire that should be used in the design of a pilot or full program proposal.


If you have a project below the $5 million threshold, please consult with King County staff to determine whether the project would be an appropriate fit for Priority Hire. To do so, you may send an email to Joe Baca at with a brief explanation of your proposed project and any questions you may have. Please insert the words, “KC Priority Hire Grant Proposal” in the email subject line.


NOTE: Priority Hire is most beneficial when applied to public works projects that are of a certain size, ideally $5 million and above. Pilot projects below the $5 million threshold will still be reviewed; however, project size should be a primary consideration when selecting a project that is best suited for a Priority Hire pilot and a grant proposal.

Important Grant Program Details

An application for a grant consists of a Grant Proposal Narrative and a Grant Cost Proposal Spreadsheet. 

Grant Proposal Narrative: King County requests that the proposal narrative not exceed 5 single-spaced pages, 12-point font, including any tables, figures, and photos. Figure and table legends should not be smaller than 10-point font. The information listed below should be included in the proposal narrative:

  • Project Title: Include the title of each project that will be part of your proposal.
  • Project Purpose and Scope of Work: Include a statement that summarizes the purpose of each project and highlights the scope of work. As part of the scope of work description, please include basic information such as estimated total square footage, length, or other information that will be useful in understanding the magnitude of the project(s).
  • Project Location: List the address or location of each project where construction will take place.
  • Project Schedule: Briefly describe and/or list the estimated schedule milestones associated with each project. Please include the estimated schedules of each major phase of a project including the estimated start and completion timeframes for the design, bidding, and construction phases.
  • Project Cost: Provide a breakdown of the budget and/or the engineer’s cost estimate that has been approved for each construction project. As part of the breakdown, include an estimate of the maximum allowable construction cost (MACC), the estimate of the total labor construction costs that are part of the MACC, and other project costs. For technical questions regarding project costs, please contact Joe Baca by email at or call 206-477-9443.

Grant Cost Proposal Spreadsheet: Please include the estimated costs (“expenses”) of your grant proposal. These are the costs you are expecting to be reimbursed by the grant funds. A template is provided for your convenience in Attachment B: Grant Cost Proposal spreadsheet.

Priority Hire Pre-Award Risk Assessment: Please include the Priority Hire Pre-Award Risk Assessment with your application. This can be uploaded separately from the Grant Proposal Narrative and Grant Cost Proposal Spreadsheet.

For additional details regarding the elements of a local Priority Hire Program, please refer to Attachment A: Priority Hire Program Elements formThis document includes both required and discretionary elements of Priority Hire that should be used in the design of a pilot or full program proposal.
All applications should be submitted via the Online Grant Portal. Applicants must complete the required elements of each section before advancing to the next section. Once submitted, applications cannot be changed. It is therefore recommended to have all application materials compiled before beginning your application. The Grant Cost Proposal spreadsheet (requirement 6) should be uploaded separately (as a .xlsx file). Once all sections of the form have been completed and the application is ready to submit, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the application. There will be a confirmation screen confirming that your application has been successfully submitted. 

Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with priority given to proposals submitted by March 22, 2023. Applications will be reviewed by the King County Finance and Business Operations Division's Business Development and Contract Compliance team. Applicants submitting proposals by March 22, 2023 can expect notice of grant approval (or denial) by the end of March 2023 (or within 2 to 4 weeks of applying if the application is received after March 22, 2023)

Upon approval of the grant proposal, King County will ask all awarded jurisdictions to sign a contract agreement. Please note that the contract agreement will obligate funding recipients to specific reporting requirements. See Attachment C for a copy of the Contract Agreement for Subrecipients.

King County staff hosted a Pre-Proposal Conference on March 8, 2023 from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM to discuss the following items:

  • Request for Applications (RFA)
  • Details on the purpose of the Grant Program
  • Overview of available funds
  • Schedule for submittals
  • Instructions and Requirements for Grant Applications
  • Submission Instructions
  • Grant Proposal Narrative
  • Grant Proposal Cost Spreadsheet
  • Contract Reporting Requirements
  • Q&A Session
  • If you were unable to attend or wish to revisit what was discussed during the conference, you may view the recorded Zoom session here: Priority Hire Grant Program Pre-Proposal Conference.

    The Attendees List is a record of businesses who have attended the pre-proposal conference related to the Priority Hire Grant Program.

    For answers to commonly asked questions regarding the Priority Hire Grant Program, visit our Priority Hire Grant Program Q&As document. This document answers questions received from the Priority Hire Grant Program Pre-Proposal Conference and serves as an informational resource that will assist you in the grant application process and when building out your own Priority Hire Program.